Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Appeal to democracy

Ironically, both sides in the Egyptian conflict are appealing to "democracy" to support their position. The pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood supporters are claiming that the Military have carried out a coup against their democratically elected leader, while the anti-Morsi forces are claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood never intended to give up power and removing Morsi was the only way to prevent an Islamist dictatorship under strict sharia law. Both sides have a degree of right on their side. Certainly the military support for the anti-Morsi forces was key to his removal from power. But, the army did not take power for themselves, the generals are staying in the background and allowing the secular forces to establish the civilian government.

The fact that both sides feel that they are in the right means that the possibility of compromise is reduced and the likelihood of an all out civil war is greater. As the government is formed and becomes institutionalized, it will find it necessary to allow the army to use its force to remove the MB from the streets. Friday night it was estimated that over 100 were killed in fighting between the two sides, but they were mainly MB supporters. This will bring out their martyr complex, always strong in Islam, and will result in even greater clashes. Egypt is well on the way to becoming another Syria, even though the two sides in each of the conflicts are certainly not identical. Everything tends to violence in Islamic societies.

What is the US to do? If it really was a military coup then the US is not allowed by law to provide the b$1.5 that it gives to Egypt, mainly to the military. But, if it was a coup against the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, that is virulently anti-American, that is in US interests. Yet, the secular forces accuse the US of being pro-Morsi. What's a good liberal like Pres. Obama to do when faced by these irrational choices?


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